What techniques can I use to give a scene greater impact?
Adam Rothwell, Canada
I work a lot in early pitch development for films and games, where it’s important to create striking images that can also tell the story or describe a scene. The key is to handle my focal areas clearly and build up compositions based on the story that I want to tell.
Even in a simpler composition such as this image, where I wanted to show only the main creature attacking, I can use elements of the composition to make my image more effective. In this case I’ve not only used compositional elements from the background to emphasise my framing, I’ve also posed the creature to create a dynamic line pointing towards my focal point: the creature’s head and mouth.
There are some basic guidelines I try to use in most of my pieces. Using the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio for placing your focal point helps, but try to keep the image as uncluttered as possible after doing so. Use the perspective of the background and your vanishing points to direct the viewer towards your focal point or drive the story. Apply dynamic lines and compositional elements. Use extra framing to stop the viewer’s eye from wandering to less-important areas.
I use the same principles in more complex images as well, only I have more elements to play with so I can plan the path of the viewer’s eye more clearly.